Friday, December 12, 2008

Cabbage Rolls

As promised, another easy weeknight meal. After eating this dish throughout my childhood, I decided to look up a little history on it. I found out that cabbage rolls are a common peasant food originating in Europe and Western Asia. They were meant as a means for using up leftover food, so additions and changes are encouraged. The sauce varies widely by Finland and Sweden, the sauce is typically a bittersweet ligonberry jam. This tomato-based sauce would most likely be from Eastern Europe.

You could make it even healthier by using ground turkey and brown rice. Enjoy!

Grandma D's Cabbage Rolls

Mix together:
1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
3 Tbsp raw rice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 can diced tomatoes

Rest of recipe calls for:
8-10 cabbage leaves
remainder from can of diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Boil whole cabbage leaves until pliable, about 3-5 minutes. Drain. Trim rib from back of leaves. Roll meat in leaves like a burrito. Place in skillet, cover with remainder of can of diced tomatoes with a little salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano sprinkled over the cabbage rolls. Cover and simmer until done (about 45 minutes). Add a little stock or water if it gets too thick.


LouAnne said...

What perfect timing! I have cabbage roll fixins ready for assembling this weekend. They freeze well, too.I also use rainbow chard instead of cabbage. Chop up and sautee the stems and add them to the filling. Cheers!

Ingrid said...

Yum, I love cabbage. It looks warm and hearty!

Emilie Ahern said...

Sorry to leave this as a comment on a post, but you made my beef tamale pie and asked for more freezer recipes.

I have an entire website dedicated to only freezer cooking.

Loves, Emilie Ahern

dianem said...

sounds good and looks easy, which is right up my alley

Goran said...

It is somewhat funny to read the name of the meal is "cabbage rolls".

So "anglophone centric" . Meal has different origins, and is commonly represented in some East European countries and Turkey for centuries.

For further explanation please check

Deanna S. said...

Goran - Thanks for commenting. Please let me know the politically correct recipe name so I can note it. I call it cabbage rolls because that is what our family has referred to it for 3 generations.

Goran said...

Like the article in wikipedia says it is called SARMA.
Pronounced with hard R.

Meal itself is of Turkish origin.
While Balkans where ruled by Ottomans, it spread and remained a part of our national cousins.

Difference is that we use sour cabbage to wrap meat, not fresh.
Although, in southern parts of Croatia people tend to use wine leaves instead of cabbage, or even leaves of some more "exotic" plants. There is a variation, where people stuff onions - so you see how far it goes.
As history took its course, people "invented" their own variates, blending their own ingredients represented in local areas.

I am not one of those "politically correct s.o.b." but it is a nice twist in the story when you know something about the history of the meal. ;)

Best regards !

Cherie said...

YUM! I love cabbage rolls! I am totally going to try your recipe!